American journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology

Pulmonary artery smooth muscle cell hyperproliferation and metabolic shift triggered by pulmonary overcirculation.

PMID 27591215


Vascular cell hyperproliferation and metabolic reprogramming contribute to the pathophysiology of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). An important cause of PAH in children with congenital heart disease (CHD) is increased pulmonary blood flow (PBF). To better characterize this disease course we studied early changes in pulmonary artery smooth muscle cell (PASMC) proliferation and metabolism using a unique ovine model of pulmonary overcirculation. Consistent with PAH in adults, PASMCs derived from 4-wk-old lambs exposed to increased PBF (shunt) exhibited increased rates of proliferation. While shunt PASMCs also exhibited significant decreases in mitochondrial oxygen consumption, membrane potential, and tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle function, suggesting a switch to Warburg metabolism as observed in advanced PAH in adults, they unexpectedly demonstrated decreased glycolytic lactate production, likely due to enhanced flux through the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP). This may be a response to the marked increase in NADPH oxidase (Nox) activity and decreased NADPH/NADP